Flex Alert: Conserve Energy During the Heatwave

A state-wide Flex Alert has been issued directing Californians to conserve electricity through Thursday, asking Californians to conserve energy, especially between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The heatwave in California is causing strain on the state’s grid, which can result in power outages. Power outages can occur when there is not a sufficient amount of energy to meet the high amounts of demand during the heatwave. San Francisco residents and businesses should be prepared for rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Thursday. 

Outages are expected to last between 1 and 2 hours in most cases. Outages may occur with little advance warning, as outages are an emergency measure taken by the California Independent System Operators (CAISO) and implemented by PG&E across its service territory. 

SFPUC customers, including CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power customers, may be affected by these outages. 

Conserve Energy to Help Prevent Blackouts

You can do your part to help prevent blackouts by saving energy, especially between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. each day. This is the most critical time to conserve when temperatures remain high and solar production falls due to the setting sun. 

By conserving energy at home, you can help prevent blackouts for your friends, neighbors, and family. Here are some easy actions you can take: 

Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees (if health permits)
  • Defer use of major appliances
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug unused electrical devices
  • Close blinds and drapes
  • Use fans when possible
  • Limit time the refrigerator door is open.

Prepare before 3 p.m.:

  • “Pre-cool” your home, or lower air condition to 72 degrees
  • Charge electric vehicles
  • Charge mobile devices and laptops
  • Run dishwashers, washing machines, and other large appliances

For more energy saving tips, visit www.flexalert.org/save-energy.

Be Prepared and Stay Informed

Learn how to prepare for power outages by visiting SF72.org

Sign up for AlertSF by texting your zip code to 888-777 or by visiting www.alertsf.org. AlertSF will send you alerts and instructions during power outages and other emergencies.

If a power outage occurs, avoid opening the refrigerator to keep food cold. If traffic lights are out, treat intersections as all-way stops.

Even during heat waves, we must continue to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19. Stay home when possible. If it feels too hot in your home, seek cooler temperatures while keeping at least 6 feet away from people not in your household. Call neighbors, friends, and relatives, especially older adults and those with disabilities and access and functional needs.

Other protective measures against COVID-19 and heat include:  

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask, handkerchief, or scarf when in public spaces
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Call 9-1-1 if someone has symptoms of heat stroke – even if SF hospitals have a surge of COVID-19 patients. Untreated heat stroke can quickly damage the brain, heart, and kidneys. The chance of serious complications and death increase the longer treatment is delayed
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear light clothing

For more ways to prepare for power outages, visit: SF72.org